Press releases

Volcanic dust - passenger rights

Subsequent to the issue of this press release the UK European Consumer Centre (UK ECC) issued a press release with links to a practical complaints package (PDF 35KB). 

Passengers whose flights have been delayed or cancelled due to the volcanic dust blown over to the UK from Iceland have the following rights under the Regulation 261/2004 Air Passenger Rights.

* Consumers in this instance are entitled to a refund or re-routing if the flight is cancelled;
* If re-routing is offered from an alternative location, the airline shall bear the cost of transferring;
* In the event of re-routing, the consumer is entitled to meals and refreshments, hotel accommodation (if necessary), transport between airport and accommodation, two free telephone calls, faxes or e-mails;
* In the event of delay, where the delay is over two hours, they are entitled to refreshments, hotel accommodation, transport and telephone calls etc.;
* If the delay is over five hours, consumers are also entitled to a refund or re-routing.

In cases of ‘extraordinary circumstances’ like this, which are beyond the airlines’ control, consumers are not entitled to compensationthat they would otherwise be entitled to by law, which would range from 125 EUR per person to 600 EUR per person depending on the length of the journey and the length of the delay to the final destination.  If the cancellation is due to extraordinary circumstances (severe weather, strikes, political unrest etc) which cannot be avoided by the airline even if all reasonable measures are taken the airline is not obliged to pay this compensation.

In addition the legislation does not allow consumers to claim damages for any consequential losses such as transfers, car hire, hotel accommodation etc.
Consumers are advised to check with their travel insurance as they may be entitled to more under their individual policies.

It is worth advising consumers to check with their travel insurance as they may be entitled to more under their individual policies.

For further advice UK passengers travelling with a UK airline should contact Consumer Direct by visiting or phoning  0845 4040506, other passengers can contact the UK European Consumer Centre, hosted by the Trading Standards Institute, by visiting or phoning 08456 04 05 03.

Trading Standards Institute (TSI)
TSI is a training and membership organisation that has represented the interests of the Trading Standards profession since 1881 nationally and internationally.  We aim to raise the profile of the profession while working towards fairer, better informed and safer consumer and business communities.
TSI’s members are engaged in delivering frontline trading standards services in local authorities and in businesses.  We are also supporting the delivery of initiatives such as the advice services Consumer Direct, UK ECC and UK ECCS.

UK European Consumer Centre (UKECC)

The UK European Consumer Centre is part of the European Consumer Centre Network (ECC-Net). There are 29 centres covering Europe, plus Iceland and Norway. The aim of the network is to provide advice and support to consumers who have a dispute with a trader based in a European country outside the UK. The Network will assist consumers in the attempt to resolve the complaint.
UK ECC can provide advice in the following main areas: buying goods and services, online shopping, internet auctions, holidays, timeshare and holiday clubs, air travel.

UK ECC is co-funded by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS), and the European Commission.
The Trading Standards Institute hosts the UK ECC service at its head office in Basildon, Essex.

Consumer Direct
Consumer Direct is the national helpline and online service providing clear and practical consumer advice. The service is managed by the OFT and delivered in partnership with local authority Trading Standards Services. Should you need help and advice please contact Consumer Direct by calling 08454 04 05 06 or through the website